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The DNC’s Year Of The Long Knives?

January 31st, 2006 - 5:05 am

Remember yesterday’s Drudge blurb about DNC fundraising?

Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill are privately bristling over Howard Dean?s management of the Democratic National Committee and have made those sentiments clear after new fundraising numbers showed he has spent nearly all the committee?s cash and has little left to support their efforts to gain seats this cycle, ROLL CALL reports.

Congressional leaders were furious last week when they learned the DNC has just $5.5 million in the bank, compared to the Republican National Committee?s $34 million.

Senate and House Minority Leaders Harry Reid (Nev.) and Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), along with the Senate and House campaign committee chairmen Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), have made their concerns — directly or indirectly — known to Dean, claims the paper.

Emanuel was particularly upset last week upon seeing the latest DNC numbers.

Well, now. Like Paul Harvey says, wait ’til you hear the rest of the story. Check out this bit from “The Prowler” at the American Spectator’s site (second item):

According to knowledgeable DNC sources, Dean about ten days ago was shown opposition research documents generated by the Republican National Committee more than three years ago, which laid out facts regarding Reid and his family’s lobbying and ethical conflicts.

Dean, according to the sources, was fascinated by the details, and asked that his staff research and independently confirm everything on the documents. “Basically he oppo’d a member of his own party,” says a DNC source loyal to Dean.

“Basically, we were looking at three- or four-page documents that made Jack Abramoff’s lobbying work look like that of a rank amateur,” says the DNC source. “Between the minority leader’s past in Nevada and here in Washington, and the activities of his sons and son-in-law, there probably isn’t anyone in this town with more conflicts. The Reid family is the symbol of what’s wrong with Washington; it’s their behavior that enabled the culture that spawned people like Abramoff.”

Dean then went public over the weekend, saying that Democrats with an Abramoff problem would be in trouble, not only with voters, but with the Democrat Party. But why attack a senior member of his own party?

According to Democrat Party watchers and DNC staff, Dean has grown increasingly frustrated at how he is treated by the likes of Reid, Sen. Dick Durbin, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Rep. Rahm Emanuel, who leads the House Democrat candidate recruitment effort. “They treat him like a lackey, not as an equal,” says another DNC employee. “Just last week, they were all badmouthing his fundraising activities, when clearly he’s done a good job. What this comes down to a fight for the soul of our party, and if the chairman has to draw a long knife on a few of his colleagues, he’s more than willing to do so.”

Ego, paranoia and power make an ugly combination. But it ought to be fun to watch…

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